Lets Talk About Classes

Published on 11th June 2015 by Colm | Comments Off

Following up from my last post which covered how you upgrade your Guild, today I'd like to talk a little bit about how classes work in Guild of Dungeoneering.

Character Classes

Hero archetypes aka classes are as old as the hills. It's a concept that lets you say that this hero is good at healing and that one is better at smashing faces and basically everyone gets it straight away. So naturally we're using classes in Guild of Dungeoneering! We do have a couple of twists. Firstly a lot of our classes don't sound like the regular fantasy RPG classes as we're willing to let a little humour invade this sometimes overly serious genre. Secondly since heroes always get reset (you can level-up in a single dungeon run, but once you are back in the guild it's back to their starting stats) we are using the unlocking of new classes as a replacement for how you might level-up a single hero in other games. Essentially your guild is the hero you are role-playing as in Guild of Dungeoneering, and thus that's what you level up and customise.

But lets talk a bit about the actual hero classes you'll be filling your guild with. Lets start with the Chump which is the not-very-good dungeoneer you start out with.

The Chump

The Chump. Not the sharpest tool in the guild's toolbox.

The Chump. Not the sharpest tool in the guild's toolbox.

Every character class comes with six cards comprising their starting battle deck. These are the moves you'll be using in combat, and you are able to add to them by finding equipment on dungeon runs. But those starting six are very important. Unfortunately the Chump's battle deck is pretty lackluster.

Keep your eyes open when you're punching!

Keep your eyes open when you're punching!

So that's three weak attacks (that's the icon for 1 physical damage), one ok attack and then two weak blocks. And to add to that Chumps have no special abilities. Better find them some sweet loot as soon as possible if you want to beat any bosses. On the plus side they are so awful that they make everyone else look pretty good!

The Cat Burglar

I hope you like cat puns. I meow I do!

I hope you like cat puns. I meow I do!

The Cat Burglar is one of four classes you can unlock quite early on in the game, what we call the Tier 1 classes (the chump is the only Tier 0 class). Each of the four has it's own special playstyle, strengths and weaknesses so you are very likely to find some of them are better for particular adventures. What does the Cat Burglar's combat deck look like?

Who throws a cat? Honestly!?

Who throws a cat? Honestly!?

So the Cat Burglar is specialised around dealing out physical damage only, including an unblockable attack (pounce), a quick attack (scratch) and two self-buffs (catnip) which let you bide your time before striking even harder – ie when a monster's guard is down and they don't have a block ready. Their downside is that they have absolutely no blocking in their starting deck. Maybe something you could shore up with some equipment? Or you could push their specialty even more with some more quick attacks. The choice is yours! And they do have one starting trait called [Covetous] which gives them one additional choice of loot card after each battle – so you will be more likely to be able to specialise them in a given dungeon run.

The (Aging) Barbarian

A barbarian? Sounds pretty powerful! Woah - this one seems a bit OLD

A barbarian? Sounds pretty powerful! Woah – this one seems a bit OLD

The Barbarian is one of our Tier 2 classes that becomes available a little further into the game. It sounds like a regular fantasy class but we've decided to make the ones that join YOUR guild really, really old. Well, beggars can't be choosers you know! So what's their battle deck look like?

Remember: every time you play the howl card you should also howl in real life!

Remember: every time you play the howl card you should also howl in real life!

Ok, that's a LOT of damage output with 4 cards dealing two physical damage and one even doing three, though a lot of them come with a penalty where the barbarian also hurts themself. Withstand is a unique card which stops them dying for the next two rounds – very powerful! They also start with a special trait called [Deathwish] which gives them +2 health in any battle against a monster of higher level. Finally their AI is special in that they are drawn to attack monsters that are of higher level than themself (most dungeoneers try and avoid these monsters). These things all add up to a class that can take down monsters other classes wouldn't have a hope against early on in dungeon runs. But do Barbarians have the late-dungeon staying power those other classes have? Well I guess you'll have to see!

Adventures & Quests

That's just a quick peek at three classes. There's 14 different ones in the game for you to enjoy! Join me next time when I talk about the Adventure & Quest system and the world map.



Release Date, New Trailer & Pre-Orders!

Published on 3rd June 2015 by Colm | Comments Off

Wow do we ever have a lot of news all at once today. Yes we do! Lets get right into it shall we?

Release Date: July 14th!

The game is coming out on July 14th! Get excited! Do a little dungeoneering dance. Roll some dice! Yeah!

New Trailer!

Feast your eyes and ears on this beauty. And then share it with your friends!

Preorders, with a lovely little bonus!

You can preorder the game right now from Steam, GOG or Humble for $14.99 | €14.99 | £10.99 or so. And as a very special thank you to everyone who does so we are going to give you our first Adventure Pack for free when it comes out a few months after launch. It's called Pirates Cove and will add some extra adventures, loot and dungeoneers to the mix.

Yarrr. Not a looker among them.

Grab yourself a copy, then high five the next person you see!

Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/317820/

GOG: http://www.gog.com/game/guild_of_dungeoneering

Humble: https://www.humblebundle.com/store/p/guildofdungeoneering_storefront

Oh and if you want the full press release it's right over here.

Building Up Your Guild

Published on 27th May 2015 by Colm | Comments Off

Hi folks!

Just wanted to show you guys a little bit from the Guild side of the game as til now we've been so focused on the Dungeoneering side.

The whole metagame / strategic side of things is about your guild. You get to upgrade it by using the spoils of successful (and unsuccessful) dungeoneering by your hapless heroes. How you specialise your guild is up to you though. There are three main branches of upgrades: Might,Magic, and Loot. Might and Magic both give you new character classes and special blessings with a general theme of physical vs magical styles. Loot on the other hand tends to unlock more equipment your dungeoneers can find in dungeons, so it's quite different.

Click for bigger

Click for bigger


A lot of upgrades give you new rooms for your guild! These can be placed anywhere you like so how your guild looks is up to you. We tried to make the guild look quite distinctive compared to the usual dungeons. What do you think?

Wait.. is that a mime!?

Wait.. is that a mime!?


There's also some special rooms you need to earn: the Graveyard and the Trophy Room. It's very likely that by the time you finish the game your graveyard will have quite the collection of former dungeoneers.

So many dead. Not to worry we can hire plenty more!

Not to worry, we can hire plenty more!


And taking down bosses gives you a fun little keepsake in your trophy room!

Bravely stealing shampoo from bosses' treasure chambers.

Bravely stealing shampoo from bosses' treasure chambers.


Since your dungeoneers never permanently level up, how do you progress? Well it's all via levelling up your guild instead. Unlocking more powerful classes is how you get better dungeoneers (or in some cases, just differently specialised ones). I'm going to show off some of the character classes in more detail in the next update.

Also on the RELEASE DATE, stay tuned we should have an announcement on that very soon!


Most Promising

Published on 25th February 2015 by Colm | Comments Off
Just gotta keep promising more!

Just gotta keep promising more!

At the start of February I flew into Amsterdam to attend Casual Connect as an Indie Prize finalist. At the time I was happy to spend a few days with our composer Steve who was living in Amsterdam and to meet some of the other devs showcasing their games. I didn't expect to get anything else from the rest of the show, in all honesty. However we got a very nice surprise when Guild of Dungeoneering scooped up the 'Most Promising In Development' award! Oh yeah!

A fancy bit of glassware!

A fancy bit of glassware!

This is our first time winning any kind of award so it was super exciting for us. Here's myself and Steve up on stage accepting the award.



Casual Connect? Sounds Legit.

Casual Connect sounds more like a speed dating event than a games show. The name comes from the casual gaming genre which blew up in the 2000s. Nowadays those games have essentially moved to mobile, but the name lives on. The show itself is very business oriented, with most exhibitors and talks focused on monetisation strategies for F2P games and the like; ie not exactly a match for my kind of game development. However a couple of years ago they started the Indie Prize showcase which is really cool. They selected 120 game devs to be able to showcase their games in a prominent spot in the middle of the show floor, and on the final day they handed out about 10 prizes.

That's a LOT of indie games!

That's a LOT of indie games!

That's a whole LOAD of games in the indie prize zone so as you can see you only get about half a table of space each. We just turned up with my laptop showing the game (that's a far cry from the heavily branded setup we had at PAX). There's no space for anything more than that, which is a shame, but on the other hand it means there is an absolute butt load of games on display. It took me all three days to get around and try and chat to most of the devs, but it was very worthwhile for that alone. There's some really great games out there that you have never heard of!

Exciting Times at PAX South

Published on 11th February 2015 by Colm | Comments Off
There's an entire separate hall to queue in

There's an entire separate hall to queue in at PAX

Two weeks ago I was able to attend my first ever PAX, which is a massive and beloved consumer gaming show. The kind that attracts real gaming fans who will happily give up their weekend, pay for tickets, and queue in their thousands to be the first ones into the show. The kind that sells out of tickets on a regular basis. Just attending would have been extremely interesting to me but I had the opportunity to do something even more incredible: I was able to showcase the game I'm working on to thousands of potential fans. WOW. Read on for my full postmortem.

Read More »

A Beautiful Partnership

Published on 27th January 2015 by Colm | One Comment

I'm very glad to announce that we have partnered with Versus Evil to publish Guild of Dungeoneering!

It's OK, they are AGAINST evil

This means we'll have more time to focus on making the game as amazing as it deserves to be, while Versus Evil looks after everything else for us.

This also means we'll be able to showcase the game at several upcoming gaming expos including PAX SouthGDC, PAX East, and EGX Rezzed. Exciting times!

There's a full press release for those of you who are into that kind of thing.

Creating the Scribble Effect in Guild of Dungeoneering

Published on 6th January 2015 by Owen | Comments Off

One of the big draws of Guild of Dungeoneering is the distinctive art style created by Fred;  it really evokes that feeling of playing a paper and pencil style RPG, where you are sketching out your own dungeon maps. However we felt we weren’t doing that art justice in the transitions between picking a room card and it appearing on the page. Rooms simply faded in to a static image. We also weren’t really happy with the way the game was highlighting possible placement positions for new rooms, showing just question marks in valid locations when in the middle of the placement sequence, which was confusing for some players.

the finished Scribble Effect

the finished Scribble Effect in action

So when I joined the team one of my tasks was to try and implement solutions to these issues, eventually coming up with what I call the Scribble Effect.

Read More »

Now Hiring: Game Designer!

Published on 15th December 2014 by Colm | Comments Off

Note: this position has now been filled!

Hi folks!

I'm looking for a talented game designer to join the team here at Gambrinous. The ideal person would

  • love creating engaging, elegant systems that are a joy to play, learn and master
  • have a deep interest in board games and card games and what makes them tick
  • be keen to apply board & card game mechanics to a digital game
  • have a portfolio of previous games or prototypes they have built
  • enjoy working in a small team where everyone's effort makes a big difference
  • get to focus on gameplay rather than monetisation (we don't do F2P)

You too could be a Dungeoneer!

That person will be joining a team of four working on Guild of Dungeoneering, which is due to come out on Steam and tablets in mid 2015. More info on Guild of Dungeoneering can be found right over here.

We don't know what we'll work on after that but you can bet it will be something boardgamey and full of juicy game design challenges. We are based in Dublin, Ireland but I'm also willing to talk about working remotely with the right person.

Interested? Great! Drop me a mail (colm@gambrinous.com) and tell me about yourself. I'd also love to see some of your previous work and get an idea of your salary expectations.

Colm Larkin

New Gameplay Video & Tentative Release Date

Published on 5th November 2014 by Colm | 2 Comments

Just wanted to share a couple of new things about Guild of Dungeoneering. First of all here's a new video showing the latest alpha gameplay with commentary that I recorded as part of submitting the game to the IGF awards. It's about 5 minutes long and will tell you everything you need to know about Guild of Dungeoneering. Check it out!

Secondly I now have a tentative release date for PC & Mac (including Steam) of April 2015. This isn't 100% locked in at all, but it's at least what I'm aiming for right now based on our current momentum, and for once I feel this is achievable!

Finally don't forget if you want to keep up with all the interesting behind-the-scenes details of development then you should look no further than our amazing TIGSource devlog thread. Many have said they feel 20% smarter and sexier just by posting their comments in that thread. Incroyable!

As a final bonus have this lovely animated gif!



The List of Indie-Friendly Publishers

Published on 2nd September 2014 by Colm | 2 Comments

That's not an oxymoron! While the whole point of being 'indie' is to be independent (primarily of a publisher!) there are many other ways a publisher can help you while letting you remain independent. Traditionally game publishers would pay an upfront fee that paid for a studio to develop their game, but in return own all of the IP and almost all of the revenue from a game (and sequels!!).

Nowadays with digital distribution one of the main reasons to need a traditional publisher is gone but there are other things they can help with like PR, advertising and marketing budgets around launch, getting you onto marketplaces like Steam, etc. Sometimes this could be more of a partnership than a publishing deal.

I've just started talks with a few indie-friendly publishers for Guild of Dungeoneering so I thought I would share my list for others considering this approach. Some of these are full-on publishers with a focus on indie games, some are actual indie developers who also publish other dev's games, and some are marketing specialists.

I'm focused primarily on PC, as is most of the above list, but if you are looking for help with a mobile game I'd recommend looking through this twitter list as quite a few of the list are mobile-focused.

Thanks to the Indie Game Developers facebook group, @kristruitt@LukeD and /r/gamedev for helping me put this list together. If you have any suggestions to add to this list feel free to leave a comment!